Prof G D Jayalakshmi (commonly called Jaya) is an award-winning, experienced film-maker, educator and media consultant.
Jaya’s industry experience spans eleven years at the BBC, where she was a producer, making mainly documentary films. Then she set up her own production company in order to pursue her interest in fiction filmmaking. Jaya has won several awards including the Platinum Award at Worldfest Houston and Bluefire! British at Kino International Short Film Festival. She was also the runner up, BAFTA/TAPS British Writer of the Year. Her films have screened at major international festivals – Cannes, Berlin, San Francisco, Houston and they have toured with the British Film Institute Spice Tour programme. Recently, Jaya has completed two documentaries in China for the Aga Khan Awards in Architecture. Jaya is also in active development on two fiction films, one of which spans UK, India and China.
Working with an animation house in India, she wrote and directed The Cat and the Juggler, which won her Best Director at FICCI Frames and Best Animated Film at ASIFA International Animation.
Academically, Jaya has worked in various teaching and administrative roles at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in England; USW in Wales and most recently in China, where she headed the School of Film and TV Arts, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, was promoted to Associate Dean of the School but also retained her position as programme director of Filmmaking at XJTLU, Suzhou.
Currently, she is a Professor of Creative Practice at Edinburgh Napier University and heads the Centre for Creative Practice. She is keen on exploring ideas and the need to extend knowledge for ‘all experience is an arch wherethrough gleams the untravelled world’.
Jaya is passionate about practice-as-research and continues to grow her own film-making practice. In particular, she believes in the power of media for producing content that addresses social issues. Jaya works on inter-disciplinary projects, particularly between architecture and film; health, social care and media; and identity politics and film.
Jaya’s research interests often deal with multiculturalism, particularly the relationship between bilingualism and identity. Of late, she has also become interested in metaverse, the relationship between multiverses, immersive experiences and Hindu philosophy. She would welcome collaborative projects, PhD students and researchers in any of the above topics. She loves challenging and being challenged by students from all over the world.